Ripe with political satire, physical comedy, and plenty of vulgarity, The Dictator is an upstanding comedy, and Sacha Baron Cohen has continued the claim that he might be the funniest man in film right now. However, because he has set the bar so high with films like Brüno or Borat, The Dictator tends to disappoint. While in itself being a funny movie, don’t have the highest of expectations, as at first it may not fulfil them.
In The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen stars as General Aladeen, dictator to a North African country called Wadiya. He spends his days addressing the masses from his palace and visiting nuclear testing facilities, while his nights are occupied by sleeping with celebrities, who judging by the Polaroid’s on his wall, range from Megan Fox to Oprah. Aladeen is pressured by global powers to speak at the UN about the oppression of his people, and so the General heads for New York City.
Once in New York, General Aladeen narrowly escapes torture by a trigger-happy US marshal but loses his beard and clothes in the process. Alone in the Big Apple, Aladeen stumbles into a job working at an alternative-lifestyle coop run by a left-wing, fem-lit graduate named Zoey (Anna Faris). Despite the massive political differences between the two, Aladeen somehow seems to be falling for Zoey.
The character created here by Sacha Baron Cohen is memorable like all his others, General Aladeen is a wonderfully controversial but humorous character. His idiosyncrasies are different than other of Cohen’s characters, and the attention to detail in his performance aids in our enjoyment of this comedy. Part political satire, part physical comedy, The Dictator mixes things up enough to be an enjoyable comedy, probably one of the best of the year. However, in comparison to some of Cohen’s other work it doesn’t quite match up in terms of raw laughs. Still, The Dictator is a unique comedy and worth seeing.